Vale BLM setting up remote fire camp to tackle growing list of wildfires

The Enterprise

VALE – Fire crews faced another string of lightning-caused fires west of Lake Owyhee Saturday evening, and a new fire base was expected to be established Sunday at Twin Springs Campground.

The Vale district of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said the incident command post being established at the campground, about 35 miles southwest of Vale, would take control of two of the largest fires – Dry Creek Buttes and the Oxbow.

Dry Creek Buttes was burning on the rim country above Owyhee Lake about 20 miles south of Owyhee Dam. That fire posed a threat to Camp Hycliff, a camp operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No information was immediately available on whether the camp was being used.

By Saturday night, the Dry Creek Buttes fired had burned over 2,000 acres.

The Oxbow Fire was burning on the rim above the lake just west of the dam and had covered 1,500 acres. BLM officials expected to contain that fire by Sunday evening. The Haystack Rock fire, west of the dam and one mile north of Oxbow, was still listed at 540 acres Saturday night and crews were mopping up, BLM officials reported.

A local overhead team – a Type III team – was scheduled to set up base at Twin Springs, a remote BLM campground about 10 miles west of the fires.

Lightning Saturday evening touched off at least five new fires. The largest was the Deer Fire, listed at 100 acres. The fire is west of the lake, 20 miles north of the dam. Crews had checked its forward progression Saturday night, the BLM said.

Two other fires were reported in the same region west of the lake – the Hammond Hill fire at 50 acres, the Homestead Fire and Rock Point fires, both reported at less than an acre.

The Jordan Valley Rangeland Fire Protection Association was tasked to the Saddle Butte Fire, east of the lake. The fire was listed at five acres.

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